A Homily of Celebration for Sarah and the Gathered [4-10-16]

A Homily by the Reverend Craig Stinson

on the occasion of the

Celebration of the Life


Sarah Jane Jones (1938-2016)


“For now we see in a mirror, dimly

but then we will see face to face

now I know only in part;

then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

(I Corinthians 13:12)


Anyone who is interested in history, even a little bit, soon discovers that what we were taught as youngsters is only one view of the narrative of what happened, and why, and how that contributed to the way things are today.

Many of us were taught one narrative about the history of our country, or even of the world.  Then, as we grew older, we were exposed to various revisionist histories… parts of the story that had gone untold, sometimes unknown, with a wealth of other characters, many of whom we knew little or nothing about.  Each had their own point of view.  And sometimes these revisions were a complete reversal of…

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A Daughter’s Eulogy for Sarah Jane Jones [4-8-16 ]

 A Daughter's Eulogy for Sarah Jane Jones by Serene Jones

Funeral Service April 5th, 2016

(Also the 58th Wedding Anniversary of Joe and Sarah)

Southern Hills Christian Church, Edmond, Oklahoma


Good afternoon:

It's wonderful to look out and see the faces of a lifetime’s worth of friends of my mom, Sarah Jane Jones, daughter of Peggy and Glenn Jones, of Oklahoma City.

There are so many of you here, including people who have loved her since her days in Sequoyah Elementary School and all the way forward to those who spent her final weeks with her in Epworth’s Household 4, the nursing facility where she lived her last days in hospice care.

You can read the facts and figures about her seventy-eight years of life in her obituary - and learn what a remarkable, self-determining, and vital woman she was.  And in those obituary pictures of her, you can be rather startlingly reminded of how beautiful she was, extraordinarily so, not only on the outside but also inside; she glowed from within with the warm light…

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Obituary for Sarah Jane Jones [4-6-16]


Obituary for Sarah Jane Jones

March 27, 1938 to April 2, 2016


Sarah Jane Jones, born and raised in Oklahoma City, died there on April 2, 2016 from a rare neurological disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

She attended Sequoyah Grade School and Harding Junior High. After attending Classen High School for two years, in 1956 she was in the first class to graduate from the newly constructed Northwest Classen, where she was its first student council president. For two years she attended the University of Oklahoma, and was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority.

In 1958 she married her high school sweetheart, Joe R. Jones, and they moved to New Haven, CT where Joe became a student at Yale Divinity School. In New Haven she gave birth to two daughters, Serene and Kindy, and obtained a B.S. in Education from Southern Connecticut State University. In 1967 in Richardson, TX, she gave birth to another daughter, Verity. In 1986 she graduated magna cum laude with a M.Ed. in Counseling from Phillips…

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Video Of Charley Rose Interview of Serene Jones [2-8-16]


In mid-December of 2015 our daughter Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary in NYC and Johnston Family Professor of Religion and Democracy, was interviewed by Charlie Rose,  nationally known television commentator on CBS and host of a weekly TV program of interviews with interesting public figures. It was a grand engagement between the two, and I intended to post the video of the interview promptly. But I ran into technical difficulties that have now been resolved. The interview is a gem.

Serene is also the current President of the American Academy of Religion, the largest organization of professors teaching religion in the U.S. and was formerly Titus Street Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School. She has published numerous books and articles, including  Calvin and the Rhetoric of Piety, 1995; Feminist Theory and Christian Theology: Cartographies of Grace, 2000; Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World, 2009. In 2010 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by her undergraduate alma mater, the University of Oklahoma.

Comments welcomed.

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Serene Jones on Iran and Millennials [7-19-15]


In June our daughter, Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary and the Johnston Family Professor for Religion and Democracy, was part of a small group of American religious scholars invited by a group of Iranian religious scholars to visit  Iran for a consultation on religious diversity and peacemaking. In response to the recent accord reached by Iran, President Obama and other western leaders, Serene posted the following article for Religion News Service on July 15th, which was widely distributed and appeared in the Washington Post.

I found it hopeful and insightful. Comments welcomed.



My prayer: Iran deal will help millennials in US and Iran bridge the divides

By Serene Jones | Religion News Service July 15

I woke up Tuesday (July 14) to buzz after buzz on my phone — texts flooding in from young Iranians I had met in June, celebrating the historic nuclear agreement that had just been announced.

Only a few weeks have passed since I visited Iran with a select interfaith U.S. delegation, where we worked to break down the cultural and religious barriers that separate…

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